As I mentioned at the start of this series, Big Data continues to create analysis paralysis in many organizations today. As a result, many organizations that were once thriving will lose their competitive edge to organizations more willing to adapt to technological and marketplace shifts.

A mid-year report by eMarketer, “Key Digital Trends,” explains that advertisers and marketing teams are working within a changing digital landscape as tablets are replacing PCs and mobile has become the new epicenter of digital. The eMarketer report points out that while ad spending is increasing, mostly in mobile, people are still watching TV. What are advertisers to do? How are budgets best spent? With so much data at your fingertips, how will you decide?

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, marketers list the two biggest obstacles to more effective digital marketing strategies as 1) inadequate budgets for digital marketing and database management and 2) a lack of capacity for analyzing Big Data.” Ashley Johnston, senior vice president of global marketing for Experian, poses a critical question: “How do you bring email, social, mobile, search, display, print and other critical marketing touch-points seamlessly together?” She goes on to say, “It’s not easy, but the good news is that new platforms exist that can manage Big Data.”

Where is your organization today in its response to the era of Big Data? To what extent have you researched and implemented the five fundamental solutions to Big Data? In my opinion, those solutions are 1) analytics, 2) target optimization, 3) Web experience management, 4) social solutions, and 5) advertising management platforms.

In today’s blog, we will look at four benefits of the advertising management platform and how this high tech tool can help you manage and optimize your efforts in search, display, and social.

Benefit 1 | Strengthen Your Cross-Channel Approach

According to Experian’s report, there are five major digital channels: 1) email, 2) mobile, 3) social, 4) display advertising, and 5) search. They note, as organizations grow more sophisticated in their marketing, there will be a shift from optimizing each individual channel to optimizing across channels.

Where is your organization along the “marketing sophistication curve”? “The 2013 Digital Marketer” explains, “While multichannel means being present and active in multiple channels, cross-channel means being consistent and coordinated across channels.” It’s time to evaluate where your organization is along the curve from “present and active” in these five channels to “consistent and coordinated” across channels.

Research shows that consistency and coordination are key to moving toward integrated and creative customer-centric messaging. This is the ultimate goal of marketing because it puts the customer at the center of the communications, ensuring that the customer is hearing the same message throughout all available channels. Cross-channel optimization is a sign of organizational maturity and is only made possible through the use of an advertising management platform.

Benefit 2 | Minimize IT Dependency and Campaign Management Time

Ad management platforms can help you minimize dependency on information technology (IT) teams, reducing the amount of time it takes to bring an ad campaign to life. As you are well aware, managing various digital advertising campaigns requires you to track many different metrics from impressions and clicks to conversions and website activity. In order to track this information, marketers rely heavily on the IT team to perform functions such as adding tags to websites and generating and modifying data feeds. Anyone who has been in marketing long enough knows that this dependency and coordination requires extensive amounts of communication, time, and patience. Implementing an ad management platform can help your team minimize its dependency on IT while reducing your campaign management time.

Benefit 3 | Improve Portfolio Management and Performance

Are you confident that you are effectively distributing your ad spending? Do you use metrics and data to assess the performance of your campaigns? An ad management platform helps marketers manage their portfolios. According to Justin Merickel, senior director of advertising solutions at Adobe, “The real power of the (ad management platform) system is in the portfolio.” The portfolio is basically the advertiser’s or marketing team’s budget applied to the three different areas of key advertising: search, display, and social. The platform accesses the information that the advertiser/marketing team puts into the system. Inputs include budget and campaign information as well as objectives, or what you are trying to achieve. Ultimately, the platform drives “optimization in order to achieve the best results possible.” For example, the platform provides recommendations on how to best spend budget. At its most basic, Merickel explains that the ad management platform provides easy-to-understand charts and graphs that “help you manage your digital marketing campaigns across search, display, and social media.”

Ad Management Platforms Are the Fifth Solution

As this series has shown, today’s Big Data needs make a compelling case for organizations to improve upon their technological tools and systems. Advertising management platforms are the fifth solution in the era of Big Data. They can provide marketing teams with the necessary metrics and insights needed to move your organization further along the marketing sophistication curve, ensuring that you stay on the cutting edge.

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